COLUMBIA, S.C. (March 18, 2021) – Yesterday, a South Carolina House committee passed a bill that would make it legal for people to carry a firearm without a license, eliminating government red tape and delays, and fostering an environment hostile to federal gun control.
Rep. B. Cox (R-Greenville County) introduced House Bill 3096 (H3096) on Jan 12. Under the proposed laws, anyone who is legally allowed to own a gun could carry it without a state-issued license. Currently, South Carolina gun owners must first attend training through a certified South Carolina CWP instructor before they can get a concealed weapons permit. Permits would still be available to South Carolinians who want to carry concealed in states with permit reciprocity with South Carolina.
On March 17, the House Judiciary Committee passed H3096 by an 18-6 vote.
EFFECT ON FEDERAL GUN CONTROL
While permitless carry bills do not directly affect federal gun control, the widespread passage of permitless conceal carry laws in states subtly undermines federal efforts to regulate guns. As we’ve seen with marijuana and industrial hemp, a federal regulation becomes ineffective when states ignore it and pass laws encouraging the prohibited activity anyway.
The federal government lacks the enforcement power necessary to maintain its ban, and people will willingly take on the small risk of federal sanctions if they know the state will not interfere. This increases when the state actively encourages “the market.”
Less restrictive state gun laws will likely have a similar impact on federal gun laws. It will make it that much more difficult for the feds to enforce any future federal gun control, and increase the likelihood that states with few limits will simply refuse to cooperate with federal enforcement efforts.
State actions such as passing H3096 would lower barriers for those wanting the option of defending themselves with firearms and encourages a “gun-friendly” environment that would make federal efforts to limit firearms that much more difficult.
H3096 will now move to the House floor for debate and a vote.